Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA)

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ISSN / EISSN : 1018-2101 / 2406-4238
Published by: John Benjamins Publishing Company (10.1075)
Total articles ≅ 739
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Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA);

Online communication has created new ways to express emotions, including emoji and reaction GIFs. Emoji are often discussed as signs for meaning-making, adding emotional tone to communication. Reaction GIFs express emotions and attitudes in a playful manner. This study shows that through the lens of cognitive pragmatics, these phenomena are not distinct. Both are cases of non-verbal communication pointing to the communicator’s emotional state. Drawing on relevance-theoretic notions of the showing-meaning continuum and perceptual resemblance, along with relevance-theoretic analyses of metaphor and irony, I argue that emoji and reaction GIFs provide clues to ostension and communicate emotions by virtue of perceptual resemblance between what they represent and the communicator’s emotional state. I will also argue that both emoji and GIFs can involve echoic use of language, enabling the communicator to convey their attitude.
Dongmei Cheng
Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), Volume 27, pp 1-32;

Speech act studies are increasingly likely to use retrospective verbal protocols to record the thoughts of participants who produced targeted speech acts (e.g., Cohen & Olshtain, 1993). However, although communication is always a two-way street, little is known about the recipients’ perceptions of speech acts. In academic communication at universities, it is critical for students to gain awareness of the socio-cultural norms as well as knowledge of appropriate linguistic forms in interacting with instructors. Therefore, gathering perceptual information from instructors, the recipients of many speech acts such as apologies, serves an important role in realizing successful student-instructor communication. Targeting instructors’ perceptions, two forms of an online survey were created via, with one including 12 spoken apologies and the other including 12 emailed apologies. An equal number of native (NS) and nonnative English speaking (NNS) students produced these apologies. The 150 instructors who responded to the survey gave significantly higher ratings to apologies made by NS students than to those made by NNS students. An analysis of instructors’ explanations after the ratings showed that both sociopragmatic and pragmalinguistic knowledge (Thomas, 1983) were valued in the successful realization of apologies, with the majority of instructor explanations addressing the sociopragmatic aspects of apology productions. In their comments on highly-rated student apologies, instructors appreciated the fact that students took responsibility in apologizing, offered worthy explanations, and delivered the messages with minimum grammatical mistakes. Poorly rated apology messages did not contain sufficient or valid evidence, inconvenienced the instructors through inappropriate requests, and usually had multiple grammatical mistakes. This study provides useful source of information to be used in university classrooms that can orientate novice learners towards socio-cultural expectations and appropriate lexical markers to be employed in making successful apologies in academic settings.
Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), Volume 27, pp 87-114;

The cognitive properties of morphosyntactic choices are at the base of any usage, patterns and tendencies they could possibly reveal; thus, by means of the cognitive properties of salience and informativeness, variation in second-person and usted must be considered as inherently meaningful, implying that each form conveys a different meaning that is used to pursue concrete communicative goals in discursive interaction. A qualitative and quantitative analysis of and usted and their syntactic variants (preverbal, postverbal and omitted) reveals that these forms are unevenly distributed across different textual genres and socioprofessional affiliations of speakers. It may be concluded that and usted contribute toward shaping the different communicative styles on the basis of the cognitive dimensions of objectivity and subjectivity, respectively. Considering these pronouns as meaningful choices by themselves, this study attempts to go beyond the traditional approach that treats them as terms of address, delving into the discursive and cognitive traits which underlie such a variation.
Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), Volume 27, pp 115-143;

This study explores metapragmatic comments in Nigerian quasi-judicial public hearings, involving interactions between complainants, defendants and a hearing panel, with a view to investigating their forms, features, distribution and functions. The data are analysed quantitatively and qualitatively from a discourse-pragmatic framework that incorporates Verschueren’s theory of metapragmatics, Mey’s pragmatic act theory, Grice’s Cooperative Principle and conversation analysis. Four types of metapragmatic comments are used: speech act descriptions, talk regulation comments, maxim adherence/violation related comments and metalinguistic comments. Their distribution and functioning are shown to be partly predictable from properties of the speech event, while they also co-determine the nature and development of the analysed hearings.
Yasuko Obana
Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), Volume 26, pp 247-290;

The present paper analyses speech level shifts in Japanese from a different perspective. By applying Symbolic InteractionistRole Theory, speech level shifts are categorised as the linguistic realisation of aninteractional role, or ‘dissociative role’ Icall in this paper. Dissociative roles are improvised identities, which occur when the speaker perceives a psychological change in relation to the other participant in the on-going interaction. Plus-level shifts (shifts from plain to polite forms, masu/desu) are triggered when the speaker experiences cautious, attentive, thoughtful and/or grateful feelings at a certaintime of interaction, which conforms to the original nature of honorifics. This prompts a dissociative role which creates a certain psychological distance between this role and the other interactant. On the other hand, minus-level shifts (shifts from masu/desu forms to plain forms) are the implementation of the speaker’s another dissociative role, which is assimilated with the other interactant, giving rise to empathy or drawing the other into the speaker’s world. Whether plus or minus level shifts occur, the interactants’social roles, i.e.,their original roles when the situation is defined, continue to exist throughout the discourse. The interactants are fully aware of their social roles such as teacher and student, friends, family members, and senior and junior in company(= Institutional Roles in this paper). However, when an Improvised Role is created, it is forwarded to the on-going interaction and linguistically implemented as a speech level shift.This paper also clarifies that both speech level shifts and the so-called ‘conventional’honorifics are situationally determined, and that they are not separate entities but the two ends of continuum by examining the features they share from the viewpoint of ‘roles’.
Judith M.S. Pine
Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), Volume 25, pp 573-588;

Literate Lahu, speakers of a Tibeto-Burman language in the ethnically and linguistically diverse uplands of Southeast Asia and southwest China, inscribe their language in an ecology of literacies shaped by the imbrication of a number of ideologies. As members of the larger category of chao khao or mountain people, the Lahu belong to a group which is persistently labeled as Other. (Laungaramsri 2001: 43-4). Lahu are also a people-without-writing (Pine 1999), despite the fact that at least three writing systems exist for Lahu, with a fourth in somewhat limited use and at least one other system in development. The ideological diversity of the entextualization of Lahu benefits seeing it within a particular historical and ecological context. This paper historicizes particular literacy practices within the context of the development of a particular form of written Lahu. It also traces the influence of a phenomenon termed "proprietary orthographies" which permeates the ecology of literacies in mainland Southeast Asia and, I argue, has a significant impact on Lahu language literacy practices. Focusing on a subtle issue of the representation of tone, and also drawing on self-reporting of literacy, as well as making use of Keane's concept of "semiotic ideologies", I argue that orthographies enjoy a complex form of indexicality in this region which differs in small, but important, ways from other areas.
Michael Tosin Gbogi
Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), Volume 26, pp 171-195;

Towards the turn of the 20th century, a new wave of hip hop music emerged in Nigeria whose sense of popularity activated, and was activated by, the employment of complex linguistic strategies. Indirection, ambiguity, circumlocution, language mixing, pun, double meaning, and inclusive pronominals, among others, are not only used by artists in performing the glocal orientations of their music but also become for them valuable resources in the fashioning of multiple identities. In this paper, I interrogate some of these linguistic markers, using four broad paradigms: “Signifying,” “slangifying,” “double meaning,” and “pronominals and ghetto naming.” Under each of these areas, I show how Nigerian hip hop music is creating–through the mediation of language–sub-identities and a new subculture for a generation of urban youth.
Reiko Hayashi
Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), Volume 26, pp 197-219;

This article seeks to advance the usage-based discourse research that investigates meanings and processes of meaning construction in interaction by elaboratingan empirically grounded interdisciplinary model. The paradigmatic and sequential analysis employed here brings together linguistic discourse analysis with an ethnomethodological perspective, and presents an innovative take on category organization in talk,explaininghow to capture knowledge resources such as asymmetrical category contrast pairs in talk. In analyzing in detail the speaker’s taxonomy constructionin a sample conversation, the papersystematicallyexploresthefollowing two topicsrelated to the speaker: what category characteristic he is orientingto as a resource for his present talkandwhat socialmeaning the speaker’s taxonomizing isconsistentlycommunicatingin the flow of talk. The proposed model captures a color binary–used to categorize people–of the ‘colored’versus the ‘white’, entailed in theexpression ‘a so-called yellowcolored people’,and reveals that the category pair is used as an organizational device in the speaker’s argument.The paper claims that taxonomy analysis in sequence is useful to examine the selected words in relation to their semiotic resources.
Òscar Bladas, Neus Nogué
Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), Volume 26, pp 473-500;

The Catalan second person singular (2sg) pronoun tu (you) has acquired a wide range of pragmatic values in spoken registers that have received little or no attention from scholars in the field. The aim of the present article is to analyse a particular emerging use of the 2sg pronoun tu from a corpus-based perspective. In the light of Grammaticalisation Theory, it is argued that whereas in some contexts this pronoun maintains all or part of its referential function (e.g. as subject or as a vocative, respectively), in other contexts its use is very similar to that of an emphatic pragmatic marker. Data drawn from three spoken corpora suggest that the pronoun has consolidated this new use. Prosodic evidence is also provided to show the semantic and pragmatic changes undergone by the pronoun.
Marisa Diez-Arroyo
Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), Volume 26, pp 609-629;

The language of fashion is often set as the example of a field where the use of loanwords is common practice, but has seldom been worthy of scholarly analytical attention. At the same time, vagueness is usually regarded as an inherent characteristic in natural language, but, until recently, terminology relegated it, since the traditional approaches tended to prioritise accuracy and standardisation. With the help of a combined theoretical basis, a semantic theory and a pragmatic model, this paper brings together these two worlds in order to examine the English loanword ‘print’ in the domain of Spanish fashion, contrasting and comparing it with native near-equivalents. We conclude that the presence of this borrowed term, exclusively restricted to specialised fashion circles, cannot be motivated by its contribution to specificity, a characteristic that usually distinguishes loanwords from their semantic near-equivalents in the recipient language. The importance of ‘print’ lies in its unspecified, vague nature as a loan, which permits its adaptation to a variety of fashion contexts less appropriate for the more restricted denotation of the native terms.
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